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I go to my dermatologist for many reasons: to maintain the success we’ve had in eradicating the mange on my scalp, to see if we can talk my cystic acne into retreating back to the evil place, and to make sure the Arizona sun isn’t killing me softly. I zoom twenty miles across the city from my house in the burbs to my dermatologist’s office in downtown Phoenix, which is a long way, but she’s a good doctor, and those are hard to find.
Yesterday it was time to go again, so I gathered up all of the useless lotions and potions and pills I have been prescribed over the last few months and put them into a small paper sack. These would work as physical reminders to my doctor that while she was trying hard to make my acne disappear, in reality, her magic was not working.
When I arrived at the medical building where my dermatologist has an office, I circled around the parking structure all the way up to the third level—no open spots. That was odd. I hesitated to keep driving up because I began to see “staff only” and “reserved” signs, but I couldn’t turn around. I decided to pull into a spot on the short side of the structure, where no spots were specifically marked “reserved”—unless you wanted to consider the huge “RESERVED FOR MEDICAL STAFF” sign hanging from the ceiling that may or may not have applied to all of the parking spaces on that particular level.
I grabbed my sack full of useless prescription drugs, took the stairs down to street level, then walked right up to the armed security guard who was sitting at the front desk in the lobby. Pretty girls used to sit there and talk on their cell phones, waving you by, but today a large and ugly woman was there with a gun. I felt compelled to confess my risky parking situation to her—she looked like she could eat my car if she wanted to—and she said if I left it there, it would get towed. Period. She would tow it. I imagined her in a harness, pulling my car through the parking structure and down the street, maybe to Tent City—my car in prison stripes and orange flip-flops, eating a stale bologna sandwich.
I ran back and moved the car all the way to the top level, then hurried back down to street level again. I passed the security woman who should have gotten the Charlize Theron part in Monster—now inspecting the screens that showed other possible parking crimes—and took the elevator up to my dermatologist’s office. After a short wait, I was called to a room, and soon enough my doctor came in to examine me.
“I’m bothered by these white spots on my forehead,” I said.
She tilted my face back to see it better in the light, and said, “Those need to be exorcised.”
Yup, that’s just my luck. I have evil demon spots on my forehead that need to be expelled by a priest. Only I would get those. I probably deserve them. That would explain a lot about what’s been going on in my life.
“I mean excised,” she said, giggling.
That made a lot more sense, not that I wanted her digging holes in my forehead either.
“Do I have any other options?” I said. I imagined an atomic facial peel that would make my nose smaller and my upper lip grow, along with annihilating the little white bumps.
She tilted my head back down and looked me in the eye. “They’re tiny. You could just live with them.”
Live with them? And see them every day in the mirror? “Good morning tiny white spots. Would you like some coffee, tiny white spots? Tiny white spots, you’re the one. You make bath time lots of fun.”
I would have been happier with the exorcism, but I guess I’ll learn to accept my imperfections…someday. Tiny white spots, I’m awfully fond of you?